Grace Upon Grace:: The Mystery of Meditation and How To Meditate

by Edie Wadsworth on March 14, 2012

orange blossoms

In this modern era of the revival of new age practices, many christians are frightened by meditation.  We wonder how to meditate in a way that is orthodox and God-pleasing.   Dr. Kleinig is the perfect teacher on this subject.  I loved this chapter with all it’s Christ-focused and practical advice.   But since I’ve been at the San Diego Zoo all day and am about to go to Little Italy to Buon Appetito for dinner, I thought I’d let you discuss the chapter in the comments and then I’ll add my thoughts and your thoughts to this post once you’ve had a chance to share.  Which reminds me of a post that must be written called ‘How Foodies Travel’.

Two other things:

1.  I’m so thankful that I didn’t go my whole life without smelling orange blossoms.  It’s a beautiful thing to be savored and relished.   The orange was pretty awesome too.

2.  Lanie Beth is ADORABLE and she has an awesome blog about style and we are so lucky to have her posting today over at life{in}grace girls!  I LOVE her philosophy on personal style and gratitude.  Go give her some love :)

 

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{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Angie March 15, 2012 at 12:49 am

EDIE- I haven’t been able to read my favorite blogs lately. I had no idea you were going to be in San Diego California! It’s probably a good thing I didn’t know though- it might be kinda strange for someone to be hanging out in the lobby of your hotel waiting for you to come out ;) I’m only an hour and a half away. Hope you are enjoying it!

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2 Marie at the Lazy W March 15, 2012 at 9:34 am

Christianity & meditation… what a great topic Edie!

I have personally never felt a contradiction, as long as I know where my worship is headed, where my trust lies. For example, while I might do yoga and reap a lot of physical and mental rewards form it, I never meditate hoping any of the eastern religion deities might hear my prayers.

For me yoga & meditation are just functions of how we are designed… for calm between the storms of life, for repose and cleansing. Mindfulness and listening from time to time.

The Bible instructs us to “meditate” in many ways (on His laws, on His ways, on His precepts, on His wondrous works…). We just have to read those instructions and relax a little. Not get too caught in modern day semantics.

Genesis 24:63 begins a great story. And Ecclesiastes 6:37 offers a promise.

Thanks for spurring a great conversation!! Looking forward to hear what others think. xo

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3 Esther March 15, 2012 at 10:18 am

I think this quote sums up this chapter well: “By meditating on the presence of Christ, I use the eyes of faith to see Christ and myself as He sees me. And that brings great joy, a sense of unutterable and exalted joy that is a foretaste of heaven on earth.”

Heaven on earth! That’s awesome. That’s how I feel after worship–like I’ve experienced Heaven on earth. When we say in the Divine Service, “and together with angels and archangels and all the company in heaven”…what a feeling!

And my most favorite quote from this chapter: “By meditating on Him and His Word, we wait on Him and exercise our faith in Him; we look to Him and listen to Him in order to receive Him and what He provides for us day by day as we meditate each morning. We borrow strength from Him in a number of ways by having a time for rest and reception.” I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. What better way to get through the day!

This chapter really spoke to me, and to WHY I should be doing devotions every morning. Even something so simple as Portals of Prayer gets my mind in the right place, and borrows the strength that I need to get through the day from Christ. What a gift!

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4 Kristi @ The Thrifty Gypsy March 15, 2012 at 10:20 am

Edie, this is so interesting to me because I had always been “taught” that meditation is “new age” and of the “occult”. But then a few years back someone told me how they meditated on scripture. I would love to hear Dr. Kleinig’s ideas AND yours! ;)
Kristi

ps- now you have me wanting to smell an orange blosson. I guess I’m going to have to do it in Florida, not Cali! :)

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5 kelli March 15, 2012 at 2:52 pm

i was so excited to see lanie beth featured on life{in}grace girls! i worked with her years ago at a summer camp…she lives out what she types out! :)

both of your blogs are an inspiration! thank you for loving the Lord and loving to blog! :)

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6 Jen@ADropintheBucket March 15, 2012 at 4:59 pm

I would have to agree whole heartedly that the quotes that Esther mentioned spoke to me as well. In addition, I really appreciate how he speaks of prayer and his morning meditation/routine:
“In all this I pray as I am prompted–in thanksgiving for God’s gifts to me, in confession of my sins, in petition of my needs, in intercession for other people, and in adoration of the triune God. ButI don’t rush into prayer or pray according to any set scheme. I assume that I don’t know how to pray or what to pray for; instead I look for guidance from God’s word and the Holy Spirit. Praying, then, comes as a gift rather than a demand. Most often, I respond to what God says to me by turning whatever is given to me into a prayer. My purpose in all this is to let God brief and equip me for the day ahead so that I may live in His presence and orient the whole day around Him.”

There are a few reasons that speaks to me. First, I love the idea that doing this first thing in the morning can equip us and get our mindset in the correct place, so that we are living our lives in Christlike manners and that we are living them for God, as it should be. Second, the fact that he responds to whatever God is saying to him instead of doing some sort of set prayer routine? That is sort of revolutionary for me. Growing up Catholic, everything is VERY regimented, so this has opened my mind up to another way to pray, and one that I think I would appreciate more. On the other hand, as a mom of two kids 3 and under? Finding the time and focus to meditate and look for God’s direction in that way will be a challenge for me. But one that I am willing to take on.

Very interesting reading; and I am looking forward to continuing with the next chapter about prayer.

Hope you are enjoying your trip! Sounds beautiful!!!

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7 edie March 16, 2012 at 11:15 am

Thank you all so much for your contributions. I’ll be working on incorporating them into the post so check back!
I’ve so enjoyed doing this book study with you:)
xoxo,
edie

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8 edie March 16, 2012 at 11:16 am

Angie—It wouldn’t have been strange at all! Blog world has its own rules:)
We’ve enjoyed our visit!
xo,
edie

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9 Robyn Q March 16, 2012 at 11:17 pm

Love your style here :) I can’t wait to read more as you form a post. I agree with Marie and Esther but relate to Kristi. In the past few years I am learning to spend more and more time seeking the presence of God. Someone recently said the word meditation and I found I was jolted. I still didn’t feel comfortable with it. Yet, at the same time, I knew God was laughing at me! “Seriously? You’re going to get hung up on that word?” God has given me wings and I crawl around like a caterpillar!

Mornings are splendid for meditation but I’ve also learned that when I am seeking throughout the day, living in the right now, routines are only training wheels.

The kingdom of heaven is at hand – right now! :)

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10 Tracey March 20, 2012 at 8:39 pm

Hi Edie!
I am late with my comment, but I wanted to write one anyway! I met you in person at Pearls and Grace – you are just wonderful! You said I would love the book and I do. It is such a wonderful read for the Lenten Season. This chapter was just amazing. At first I was highlighting every paragraph … it spoke to me so much. Then I calmed down! A passage that I love is about Psalm 131:
“This mother compares herself and all God’s people to that child. She rests in the arms of her Lord and lets Him carry her along through life. She isn’t worried about herself and anxious about her own importance. Her Lord has her in His arms; He knows where He is taking her. He has many good things in store for her along the way and at the end of the journey. So she can relax and wait for the journey to unfold. She can live unstressed and hopeful because the success of her journey depends on Him and not on her.”
Thank you for introducing this book!
XO

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11 cdg March 25, 2012 at 7:15 pm

hmmm? very interesting topic. as i read through the comments it seems that meditation has different meanings to different people. some use the term as a synonym to prayer and others seem to refer to it as a supplemental act to prayer. i seem to be the lone voice on this topic but, personally, the concept concerns me as a Christian.

http://solasisters.blogspot.com/

this blog is a good resource on the topic, in my opinion. perhaps i need to read the book you referenced in your post.

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